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Microsoft To End Support For Older Versions Of Internet Explorer From 2016

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined
as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Microsoft urges consumers and businesses to migrate to the latest version of Internet Explorer

Microsoft will end support for a number of older versions of Internet Explorer (IE) on 12 January 2016 and has urged consumers and businesses to update to the latest version of the web browser on their respective operating systems.

The Windows developer says a modern browser is necessary to take advantage of the latest web standards and cloud applications and to ensure users are protected from security threats, which affect older versions of IE much more than newer editions.

“Running a modern browser is more important than ever for the fastest, most secure experience on the latest Web sites and services, connecting anytime, anywhere, on any device,” says Roger Capriotti, director of Internet Explorer at Microsoft.

Internet Explorer support

The versions that will no longer be supported by the company are IE 9 running on Windows Vista SP2 and Windows Server 2008 SP2, IE 10 on Windows Server 2012 and IE 11 on Windows 7 SP1, Windows Server R2 SP1, Windows 8.1 and Windows Sever 2012 R2.

Internet-Explorer Microsoft IEAfter the cut-off date, Microsoft will only support the most recent version of Internet Explorer for any supported operating system. For example, users of Windows 7 SP1 should migrate to Internet Explorer 11.

Capriotti says he understands that many organisations will have standardised on earlier versions of IE and that was why Microsoft launched Enterprise Mode for IE 11 in April. Enterprise mode offers enhanced backwards compatibility, giving companies a short-term option to continue using their web apps before adopting modern browser standards.

IE popularity

According to latest figures from NetMarketShare, Internet Explorer controls more than half the browser market. The most recent version, IE 11 is used by 16.78 percent of web users, but IE 8 has the biggest share of any browser with 21.56 percent, while IE9 is used by 9.06 percent of users and IE 10 by 6.26 percent.

Microsoft is no stranger to abandoning popular products, with official support for Windows XP ending earlier this year. However it has promised to provide basic security updates until July 2015 and has negotiated a number of deals for extended support, including one with the UK government, which has paid £5.5 million for updates over the next 12 months.

It remains to be seen whether Microsoft will offer any similar deals for older versions of IE, given the continuing popularity of older versions.

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